Sunday, November 14, 2010

Why Blog?

Treading that fine line between being a fun, but rather boring mommy blogger that discusses my cute kid antics and my big kid hockey successes and being an Adoption Blogger that talks about the reality of parenting children in a complicated world with complicated issues is something I face every time I log in. 

There is a part of me that wishes I was more anonymous because it is impossible for me now to write about some of the more difficult parts of our journey because of the necessity of protecting my children, and our family in this community of readers from judgement, or worse, pity.  There are too many friends, family members, teachers and peers that read and so I choose to edit myself.

I could share about endless missed visits, ignored letters and of my anger and frustration of children not deemed important enough to make an effort to know.  I could talk of a normally stoic child clutching a photo of a birth parent while sobbing hysterically over the reality of how abandonment by the one person in the world who is supposed to love you forever really feels, and how it feels to be the other mother of the same child.  I could talk about how awful bullying is and how awful it is to be the parent of the bully and at the same time understand your child is doing the best they can due to no fault of their own.  I could talk about crazy reactions to medications, and how to advocate for your child with doctors and teachers and therapists.  I could talk about screaming fits that make you wonder if the neighbours are going to call the police this time, or wait until your child actually breaks a window.  I could talk about violence and aggression inflicted on a parent or a smaller sibling by a child whose brain has been affected by the choices of their birth parent.  I could talk about typical teenage parenting issues amplified by kids with extraordinary experiences.  I could talk about watching for developmental delays praying that the inevitable diagnosis might just be wished away. 

I could, but I can't because I am not brave enough.

However there is a need for writers courageous enough to share the reality of parenting extraordinary children honestly and with courage.  They are needed because those of us living this need that support.  We need to know that we are not alone in this journey.  That our children, however exceptional, are normal in their experience.  We need resources and ideas, concern and friendship that these brave bloggers provide through their community of sharing.

One such writer is my friend Rachel (aka Tudu / Tudusamom).  I have known Rachel for several years now through the adoption writer community.  She has been a friend, a support and an educator.  We exchange Christmas cards and frequent emails and sometimes long distance phone calls.  She honestly shared the traumatic, harsh, horrid and amazing reality of parenting a large sibling group of special needs, formerly sexually abused, mentally ill and very, very loved children on her blog.  I listed her blog on my own blog several months ago as one of my all time favorites.  

I would link it again but I can't.  I can't because she was forced to sign an affidavit promising to stop blogging all together by a social worker and a Department of Family Services that decided that her blogging placed her children in "imminent danger".  That apparently talking about the reality of parenting special needs children, including the good, the bad and the really, really ugly, is not allowed in the state of Georgia.  And because Rachel has written a public, and completely truthful account of life with special needs, and very difficult children, this same social worker is now attempting to remove the children from their home and family.  The same home and family that has worked endlessly and tirelessly and for years to help their children heal and move beyond the trauma of the abuse they suffered while in the care of their family or origin and in the care of this same DFS  system.

You can read more of this saga here.  If you have benefited from Rachel's writings I would encourage you to reach out to support her, and her children during this awful time.  Even if you would never blog yourself as honestly and as bluntly has she has, her children, without a doubt, cannot handle the trauma that DFS is trying to inflict on them this time.   Their recovery, as much as it is, is because of her skill and efforts as a mother.  I am a better mother because Rachel shared her journey and now she needs my support, and I am honored to provide it.


Pam said...

What a pity she was forced to stop blogging the honest truth about parenting!

A Life Being Lived said...

My heart breaks for Rachel!! I will be praying for her. As a birthmom I can honestly say that connecting with other birthmoms and others in the adoption triad has saved my LIFE. Being able to speak honestly about and connect through my experience has been life-changing. What a brave mom she is.

Jenna said...

I have no words. I mean, I do. I have a lot of words. But I can't form them just yet.

Passing this on. I'm flabbergasted.

rlvd said...

oh my word, that is beyond awful...I'M PRAYING

HollyMarie said...

You know, I struggle with this too... the fine line.. what to share because it will help someone else and because it's therapy for me or because I'm seeking feedback and suggestions.. and what to keep private because I *know* who is reading.

A friend of mine interned at our agency. One day she had a job reorganizing some things into files, etc. She came across our file... and someone at our agency had printed out a blog entry of mine from when my oldest was struggling terribly, had marked it up with comments and had stuck it in our file. I'm not sure what to think but it's kind of disturbing. Yet it's a public blog so I can't complain, right?. But it is keeping my mouth shut about certain things when I wish I had a sounding board.

I was not familiar with Rachel's blog, but I am terribly sorry for what is happening to her. It is really disturbing!

CK said...

Oh my, thank you SO much for posting this. I was following her story until it was locked and was really wondering what had happened. I'll try to figure out how I can help.

robyncalgary said...

i also thank you for posting this, i read her blog from beginning to recent blogs and always looked forward to new entries that showed the strength of her, her husband and their courageous amazing children and family. ive been worried and wondering what was going on and appreciate you sharing what you can.

Anonymous said...

That is ridiculous. It's a witch hunt, that's all it is. Some official know-it-all should get it together. Poor Tudu. And poor, poor children!

Why would any adult in his right mind even think about ripping those children away from parents who love them no matter what and from each other? To traumatise them even more? Good job. As Jenna said, I am flabbergasted.

Deb said...

This is so sad.
This might be the final thing that forces me to blog a bit more anonymously as we start the foster journey.

Anonymous said...

This pisses me off to no end.


Junosmom said...

That's awful. I have heard of cases, however, where blog or Facebook material was used against parents in courts of law.

"Why would any adult in his right mind even think about ripping those children away from parents who love them no matter what and from each other?"
Have you read about the case in Indiana where the birth father from Ohio sued for full custody from a family that had adopted and raised the child 3 years? Obviously, the courts and the bio father are not taking into account the best interests of the child.

CK said...

Jen, do you know anything? What's happening?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this story. I think it is so important to discuss both the ups and downs of adoptive and foster parenting.